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Bad Education DVD Review


Strong performances elevate “Bad Education.”

Based on the true story of the biggest public school embezzlement in U.S. history ($11 million to be exact), this HBO movie takes place in Long Island, NY in the year 2002. The story centers around Roslyn High School superintendent Dr. Frank Tassone. Frank seems to have it all. He’s attractive, successful, he’s helping the community and the school, and he’s popular with students and parents alike. However, not is all it seems with Frank as he and the assistant superintendent Pam Gluckin are doing more than using funds to make Roslyn the #4 school in the country. They’re also using taxpayer money for themselves. This comes to light after a student reporter (Rachel) researches the skywalk project only to stumble upon the shocking financial discoveries/scams. Another key storyline involves Frank’s hidden personal life in which he cheats on his husband, lies about a “wife,” and has an affair with a former student. 

Directed by Cory Finley and scripted by Mike Makowsky, “Bad Education” plays like a rather basic “based on a true story” tale. Sure, Makowsky tries to liven it up a bit with a comedic bent, but the story about white-collar crime and white privilege unfolds in a rather predictable fashion and is perhaps stuffed with too many storylines (was the apparently not true to life infidelity plot really necessary?). Despite its flaws and familiarity, “Bad Education” is nonetheless an engrossing real life crime drama story that stands out from the norm for one primary reason- the acting.

To say Hugh Jackman is  in top form here is an understatement. The actor (who rightfully earned an Emmy nom for his work here) has been crushing it the last 5 years with fantastic performances in “Logan,” “Eddie The Eagle,” “The Front Runner,” and now this. Jackman gives a layered and attention grabbing performance as Frank which might very well be his best screen work to date (and that’s saying something). He truly elevates the entire movie. Allison Janney (who can do no wrong) is predictably fantastic as Pam while rising star Geraldine Viswanathan continues to impress as Rachel. Keep your eyes peeled for a trio of memorable supporting performances from Ray Romano, Nat Wolff and Pat Healy too.


Presentation: Widescreen. How does it look? A solid standard definition release. It should be noted a Blu-ray release will also be available.

Audio Track: 5.1 Surround. How does it sound? This is not an audio intensive film but the track is satisfactory.

* “Based On A True Story”- A short featurette on the film complete with interviews.
* “The Perception Of Perfection”- A featurette on Frank (the real person and the character in the film played by Hugh Jackman).
* “Hugh Jackman And Allison Janney: Virtual Conversation”- The title of this less than 4 minute extra says it all.

August 30, 2020 - Posted by | DVD review | , , , ,

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